Meeting the Need for Gender-Affirmation Services

Debra Shute, November 1, 2017

Providing healthcare for transgender individuals is as much about inclusivity as it is about clinical expertise. 

Joni Steffens
Joni Steffens, APRN, CSC Director, Gender Medicine CentraCare Health Central Minnesota

Most likely, you already care for transgender individuals in your hospitals or clinics but don't collect data about patients' gender identity or sexual orientation.

The "not counting" of these individuals represents just the beginning of missed opportunities in best serving their needs.

While it's become more common in recent years for hospitals and health systems to launch service lines dedicated to gender-affirming healthcare, Boston's Fenway Health is among the pioneers.

The Fenway Community Health Center (later shortened to Fenway Health in 2009) was founded in 1971 by students of Northeastern University as a drop-in center serving the elderly, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. 

In 2001, Fenway Health launched The Fenway Institute, a nonprofit interdisciplinary center dedicated to ensuring cultural competence in healthcare for the LGBT community through research and evaluation, training and education, and policy and advocacy.

Debra Shute

Debra Shute is the Senior Physicians Editor for HealthLeaders Media.

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